Sales Pitches

Sales Pitches

I got voluntold to be on a committee at work. And then I had to find an alternate for the committee. So, I emailed the person I thought would most likely say yes. My email went as such:


I am apparently going to be the rep on this committee. Do you want to be the alternate?


To which he responded:

You really need to work on your sales pitch!


Which made me think, A.) my sales pitch worked great and B.) I got into this line of work because I am not a sales person, and while the point stands that I could work on it, I chose a job specifically to not work on it.

Which I think I inherited from my dad, who reportedly sold agricultural sprinklers for a while, the kind on wheels which rotate around fields, and he apparently got really skinny since he was so bad at selling them.

I dabbled in retail for a while after college, and luckily was not paid on commission, or I too would have starved.

Salespeople have an umpf which I lack. Recently, my friend needed some pants, and me and another friend and the friend in need of pants ended up in a specialized work store. My friend found what she needed and immediately went into the changing room. Me and my other friend wandered around until the saleslady saw us and started to follow us. She threw threw various verbal pitches at us just seeing if anything stuck.

"If you download Call of Duty onto your phone, you can get a collector's patch if you show me the download," she said. "The patch could be worth money some day!"

I ignored her entirely, but my friend finally said, "This lady (me) has a special someone whose entire identity is his job, what do you recommend she buy him?"

Her eyes lit up. I looked at my friend in horror. He smiled like the total jerk he was. But the saleslady was already talking.

"How much do you want to spend? What are his hobbies? Does he have this kind of bag? Does he like..."

And I was awash in her attempt to upsale me for a product I never intended on buying. Finally, I found a discount scarf in a sales bin and relented to buying it. She badgered me, clearly implying that if I loved my special someone, I would spend more than the discount scarf was worth. She held up some underwear and suggested I pair the two.

I eventually bought the scarf, which was on double discount much to her dismay, and went and stood outside. It was so windy thought I was getting pelted with sand and I had to come back inside. The saleslady got excited, clearly thinking I was reconsidering my discount purchase, but I was not. My friend just continued to stare at me, grinning like a crazy person.

Then a few days later, I was in line at a coffee shop. An old guy came out from behind the corner and yelled at us that the line was not to his satisfaction and that we needed to wrap in front of the donut case so he could sell us some donuts. We obliged and moved the line, and he took a bag and some tongs and asked me what donut I wanted.

"No thanks," I said.

"You sure? They are fortified with the same vitamins as root beer and bubble gum?"

"No..." I started. The guy behind me cut me off.

"I want some!"

He practically elbowed me out of the way. The sales pitch worked on that guy, and my lack of donut buying was immediately forgotten.

I do believe that my lack of ability to sell an item is directly tied to my lack of ability to be sold an item I don't want. Perhaps if I was more willing to be open minded about what the combo of a pair of underwear and a scarf could do for me, then I would be more able to extol such thoughts to others.

But as it is, I'm a salesperson's nightmare, and honestly, they are mine. It turns out that even with our diametrically opposed views, we are in the same nightmare of boat.

Maybe that should give me hope about humanity as a whole.

Or maybe it just makes me uncomfortable.